The Sri Lankan Government has declared a nationwide State of Emergency for 10 days as a result of tensions between Sinhalese and Muslim communities.

The unrest has seen arson attacks and riots playing out in central Kandy this week.

According to The Guardian, the violence in Kandy began when a group of Muslim men were accused of killing a man belonging to the majority Sinhala Buddhist community.

Photograph: AFP/Getty Images.

Photograph: AFP/Getty Images.

Soldiers and police have now enforced a curfew in Kandy after mobs set fire to shops and a mosque, leading to the death of a Muslim man.

Security services have now been given power to deal with ‘criminal elements’ and restore the peace.

It is the first time a nationwide state of emergency has been in place since the island’s 28-year civil war was still underway.

Der Sri Dalada Maligawa, in deutscher Sprache als „Zahntempel“ bekannt, ist ein buddhistischer Tempel in der Königsstadt Kandy, Sri Lanka

Smartraveller has not changed its travel advice for Australians at this stage, with Aussies still asked to practice ‘normal safety precautions’ in Sri Lanka.

The government travel advisory still had a few warnings for travellers in the area though.

“Avoid protests and large public gatherings as they have the potential to turn violent. Monitor local media and follow instructions issued by local authorities.”

Smartraveller advice for Australians travelling in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka

AirAsia released a statement this morning saying that despite being aware of the current State of Emergency declared in Sri Lanka, the airline was still operating flights to Sri Lanka as scheduled.

The airline, will however, be “actively monitoring the situation”.

“AirAsia will continue to observe the situation and keep guests informed on the latest updates,” they said this morning.

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Do you know anyone travelling through Sri Lanka right now? Have they been affected by the unrest?